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Montebello : New Teacher Pact Cuts Pay 2.3%, Increases Class Sizes

Montebello teachers this week approved a contract that cuts their pay 2.3% and increases class sizes. Teacher union officials termed the new three-year pact a necessary evil to save the district from bankruptcy.

“We think it’s a terrible contract for a collective bargaining agreement, but under the circumstances of the district’s financial woes, it was better than letting the district go down the tubes,” said Kenny Kim, executive director of the Montebello Teachers Assn.

In May, the state controller’s office listed the Montebello Unified School District near the top of a list of 32 state school systems facing insolvency. The district’s financial rescue plan has included laying off about 150 employees, most of them teachers.

Teachers approved the contract in a voice vote at the Montebello High School auditorium Monday.

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Raising class sizes allows the district to absorb its growing enrollment without hiring new teachers. For the first year of the contract, the district can put as many as 40 students in a regular high school classroom. Other than limits set by fire codes, there will be no cap on the number of students in physical education or performing arts classes. After the first year, class sizes will be gradually scaled back.


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